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  • Writer's pictureNorcross

Community Workshop

On September 27th, some members of the community participated in a Community Workshop, organized to confirm the direction of the upcoming Comprehensive Plan Update and to collect input on key issues and opportunities identified by the Steering Committee.

To begin, residents were able to stop by the Community Center to speak to the project team and city staff about: the City’s current goals, issues and potential projects, and the Future Development Map changes.

See what some had to say about the goals currently in place:

Goal 1: Continue to define Norcross’ sense of place

  • Most participants agreed that this is still an important goal for Norcross.

  • One person stated that it’s important to encourage people that don’t live in Norcross to spend money on food and music there so that they might eventually choose to live there.

Goal 2: Continue to strengthen Norcross as a livable and safe environment

  • One participant said that this was still a priority, another thought that it wasn’t and that quality of life and safety “is high”

A couple of Needs & Opportunities were mentioned:

  • Attract private investment in housing for the millennial population was emphasized by a community member

  • Work on opportunity to age in place.

  • Evaluate stop signage and cross walk positions and signage.

Goal 3: Increase opportunities for travel via different modes within and outside of the community

  • Community members indicated that this is still an important goal for Norcross

Needs & Opportunities

  • Transportation via foot and bike were emphasized as key needs for addressing.

  • Provide additional public parking.

  • Need groceries in walking distance

  • Traffic & speed enforcement

  • Potential MARTA expansion

Goal 4: Maintain a vibrant economy and continue to facilitate job growth

  • Still an important goal

  • Very low sales across all businesses. We need customers, or the city will not grow.

Needs & Opportunities

  • Attract customers & businesses will come

  • We need customers, streets are dead during a week and most evenings. Weekends are not as busy as they should be. We detract customers because too frequent events that take away parking. Sundays are lost opportunities; no people on streets where in most towns its ~40% of weekend sales!

Goal 5: Further the City’s tradition of strong leadership and a high level of quality services

  • This goal is important to some, and not as important to others

Needs & Opportunities

  • Broad mix is key! We need to try something new here. Creativity is required.

Future Development Map

We also displayed the Steering Committee’s proposed changes to the Future Development Map for comments. Here’s what the participants pointed out:

  • Would like to see “City Entrance” businesses in the Atlantic/Peachtree Industrial Boulevard Character Area (1)

  • Breweries and or brew pubs in commercial areas of the Town Center (7)

  • (13) I-85 Activity Center should contain a Transit Oriented Development and be an economic generator

Group Discussion

Those that could make it to the Workshop portion of the evening participated in a group discussion that focused sustainability, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, housing, historic town vs. bigger city, Buford Highway divide, young families, and technology. These are the questions we asked and some of the group’s responses:

Question 1, Sustainability: Which sustainability initiatives are the biggest priority for you?

Senior Citizen Opportunities

  • Housing – Single level in the mix (owned)

  • Walkability – especially RR crossings, stairs, ADA

  • Recreation

  • Ongoing education

Affordable housing

  • Safe and sustainable at all levels

  • Middle class ($200-400k)

  • 1 floor + 3 floors – duplex and more diverse architecture

Question 2, Pedestrian/Bicycle Infrastructure: Which pedestrian and greenway projects are priorities for you? What is missing?

  • Mid-block crossing along Buford Highway

  • Parking lot for parks (i.e. along Mitchell Rd because otherwise only residents that live there use them)

  • Amenities along greenways e.g. Ice cream shops and places to exercise.

  • Sidewalks (North and South Peachtree) & to access downtown

  • Need an accessibility audit

  • Maintain Cochran Troll Bridge (privately owned) and find more opportunities for similar paths.

  • Maintenance of lighted crossings and add hawk signals

  • Access Norcross Elementary over railroad

  • Norcross-Tucker streetscape. Sidewalk updated and widening.

Question 3, Housing: Are there needed housing types you find are missing in Norcross? What kind of residential development would you like to see permitted/encouraged?

  • Mix of people – build for difference

  • Down payment assistance for mid-income

  • City should communicate with developers on what the revolving market wants

  • Community based, not market based

  • Build for the people here

  • Tax breaks for civic occupations – individual and developer

  • Make it walkable especially to schools and across the railroad

  • Tiny homes? Artist village? Only if well done

  • Require foundation

  • But doesn’t replace the need for housing for families

  • Teachers, civil servants can’t afford

  • Single level homes with a yard (people rend single level apartments, what makes developers think that people don’t want to own their own single level living space?)

  • Cottage Courts (Like Mews)

  • $200 - $300k especially for teacher retention

Question 4, Historic Town vs. Bigger City: How would you like to see Norcross balance its charming small town feel while accommodating growth and development?

  • Refresh and build taller on Buford Hwy

  • Adding recreation with growth

  • Pinnacle Park – attract diverse businesses

  • “Multi-use Hall” – farmers market, coworking, pubs

  • Activate Downtown Norcross and tenant occupancy

Question 5, Buford Highway Divide: How can we improve physical and social connections across Buford Highway?

  • Active community engagement South of Buford Highway

  • Open House should be south of Buford Highway at one of the churches

  • City could use a Communications director

Question 6, Young Families: What can the City do to better attract and retain young families?

  • After school activities at the new library

  • Commutability

  • Charging stations

Question 7, Technology: What emerging technologies should Norcross prepare for in its Comprehensive Plan?

  • City Wi-Fi – Geo-based push notification/fiber (like Chattanooga)

  • Autonomous vehicles and shuttles

  • Solar Energy

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